|UK: Mandatory Pre-School Standards to be Made Optional|
|Life & Entertainment - Schools & Campuses|
|Written by News Desk - educationnews.org|
|Sunday, 10 June 2012 09:43|
The Early Years Foundation Stage framework, which has been mandatory in all UK nurseries and pre-schools since 2008, could be dropped at over 500 independent prep schools,
after a plan by the coalition government to make it optional became public. The framework, which was implemented in order to prepare students for grade school work and had required benchmarks in literacy and basic numeracy, has already been extensively reformed since the current government came to power, with 67 benchmarks reduced to 17. The next step will be to allow some schools to drop whole chunks of it and still be compliant with Department of Education guidelines.
David Hanson, the head of the Independent Association of Prep Schools, supports the move and calls the EYFS a government attack on parental rights. He took issue with the fact that the framework not only sought to standardize the requirements on all pre-schools, it also imposed a specific methodology on all schools, even if it conflicted with programs that have successfully worked there in the past. The framework, for all intents and purposes, removed from parents the right to decide on their children’s education.
Although the government plan has been welcomed by many independent schools, it was drawn jeers from other places, especially from experts who drafted the framework in the first place.
The DoE spokesman, speaking about the new proposal, said that the goal was to untie the hands of schools that have already taken steps to make sure their kids are well prepared to begin full-time schooling. The department is considering the change after reviewing the findings of a report, put together by Claire Tikell, that showed that innovative and high-quality programs in place at many independent schools provided even better results than those required by the EYFS. It is based on these findings that she offered the recommendation that such schools be released from the framework requirements and be allowed to pursue their own curriculum.